Chicago - Dec. 1, 2020
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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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The [Wednesday] Papers

TIL: Micro Center is an essential business, and therefore open.

I had to go there this morning for an external keyboard and some compressed air (don't ask) after a thoroughly frustrating, counterproductive discussion with Apple Support last night about a MacBook issue I'm trying to solve. It turns out Apple is virtually shut down, at least from a technical assistance view, and including their stores and genius bars.

Micro Center - the one on Elston - said they wouldn't even have an Apple tech available for about two weeks.

Anyway, I got what I needed for a temporary fix, though for a store with social distancing squares taped down at the check out line, limits on how many customers are allowed in at a time, a plastic partition between customer and cashier, and a worker wiping down carts, I was shocked to see customer service and sales reps without masks or gloves - and violating social distancing like the dickens. I suppose you have to stand next to customers to help them, but c'mon!

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Did you know you can buy an external keyboard for $5 - or even less? Not necessarily at Micro Center, despite what one of their repair guys told me, but elsewhere. I spent an entirely reasonable $20 on a Macally that I'm quite happy with so far. It's very Mac-like.

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Anyway, it's my understanding that stores like Staples and Office Max are also considered essential, which makes sense from the standpoint that folks still need their computers to work. Maybe they still need things like envelopes, too, to continue doing business.

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Also, shit's fucked up on the emergency small business loan/grant front.

This is only one small part of it:

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Meanwhile . . .

"Self-employed Illinois workers like Uber drivers and piano teachers who have lost income because of the coronavirus pandemic will have to wait weeks before they can apply for financial assistance under the federal relief law," the Tribune reports.

1. Piano teachers?

2. How long will they have to wait to get through the Trib's paywall to read about this?

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"The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which includes benefits for the self-employed, was signed into law March 27. Late Sunday, the federal government provided 79 pages of instructions to states for administering unemployment assistance under the relief act, including aid for the self-employed.

"On Tuesday, Illinois was unable to provide any guidance on when applications will open. Creating a system for the self-employed, who are not usually eligible for unemployment benefits, will take time, Rebecca Cisco, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, said in an e-mail."

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Again, because it drives me crazy every time I see it: Was it the reporter or Cisco who didn't have time to pick up the phone and conduct a proper interview?

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Food stuff . . .

Me, March 20:

+

Tribune today: Everyone Is Having Groceries Delivered During The Pandemic, But Food Stamp Recipients Still Must Go Out To Shop. Illinois Is Trying To Change That.

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I don't want to be pedantic, but not "everyone" is having groceries delivered - in fact, that's the point of the article!

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Another benefit of making SNAP available for delivery use is that grocery deliveries are pretty costly once you include the fees and - unless you are a monster - a generous tip. For SNAPholders paying their own way to get groceries delivered, it's an expensive proposition.

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Similarly, when WBEZ reports that These Are The Dishes Chicago Craved More Than Usual While Stuck Inside, they are leaving an awful lot of Chicagoans out - those who cannot afford food delivery apps like one cited in the report called Caviar.

One thing's for sure, though: WBEZ is reporting on people like them, and those are the people who make up Chicago in most of the media's mind's eye.

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Chicagoans like red velvet cake!

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Also:

"Independent farmers are feeling the economic impact of COVID-19, which forced a lockdown just before the season began for spring farmers markets. But the Chicago Farmers Market Collective is working to replace that income through a virtual marketplace," ABC7 Chicago reports.

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Drinking and driving . . .

"Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday a curfew on liquor sales in the city," ABC7 Chicago reports.

Starting Thursday, liquor stores must close at 9 p.m.

"This is not punitive, it's protective," Mayor Lightfoot said. "Nonetheless, as with our lakefront closure, we are putting this curfew in place because too many individuals and businesses have been violating the stay-at-home order."

Apparently too many people were gathering - or shopping - at liquor stores in the evenings. Once again, knuckleheads ruin it for the rest of us.

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"Drivers in Chicago are being warned by police that travel in Illinois should be limited for essential purposes only," NBC5 Chicago reports.

"Chicago police officers began conducting roadside safety and informational check points Tuesday in each police district to provide information to motorists about the state of Illinois' ongoing stay-at-home order."

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I don't know about this - I have a friend (who lives in another state) who drives around for a bit most afternoons just to get out of the house. (Her health problems limit how much walking she can do.)

What's the harm?

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"There's no wandering around or driving around, no going places for no reason. Essential travel only and we will provide that information to people that we stop," police chief Charlie Beck said.

NBC5 says that "Travel is not prohibited during the 'stay-at-home' order, but state officials say that travel can only be done for what it calls 'essential' reasons."

Yeah, not so sure about that.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Choose Your Chicago Quarantine House
But choose wisely, my friends, you're gonna be there a long time.

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Not Quite Monsters
Our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman on his Bears fandom.

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ChicagoReddit

This is an actual conversation I just had with my landlord regarding a showing. What are my options here? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

"Leavin' Chicago" / Metallusionist

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

They knew in November.

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She (and her cohort) get paid a lot more than I do to be way less right.

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The Beachwood Q-Tip Line: Fish, meet barrel.



Permalink

Posted on April 8, 2020


MUSIC - The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
TV - Newsmax On Fox News's Betrayal.
POLITICS - Dear Black Students ...
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Losing Ugly.

BOOKS - Ralph Steadman's Life In Ink.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Cole Hauser's Last Champion.


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